§ Mr. Battle
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will publish the guidelines issued to the rent officers to assist them in the setting of rent levels.
§ Sir George Young
When setting fair rents, rent officers follow the provisions of section 70 of the Rent Act 1977. When considering the reasonableness of market rents for housing benefit purposes, they follow the provisions of the Rent Officer (Additional Functions) Order 1990 (SI 428) as amended. The Secretary of State has no powers to issue guidelines about setting rents to rent officers, and has therefore not done so.
The Education Trust of the Institute of Rent Officers has established a working party to examine issues surrounding the determination of fair rents, and its report will be published during May.